by Juliana Valdez
So, the vacation is over for school goers, teachers, pupils and students alike. For those already in the system and those entering for the first time, it is a new beginning. New form, new class, infants coming from nursery school, it is a new beginning. With new beginnings come challenges. There is doubt, anxiety and fear for some, while for others it’s a continuation of where they left off.
I remember while still teaching, I used to look forward to this September term when the ‘babies’ were entering the school for the first time. While some clung to mummy or daddy, there were those who approached the whole situation as though they had been there already. There would be screams from the little ones begging not to be left, and tears from both parents and children. This is really an emotional time, which requires understanding, compassion and consideration.
The teachers, too, having prepared for their new brood, those promoted to a higher class or those receiving the ‘babies’, would also display anxiety. Lots of time, resources and effort would have been put in to ensure a welcoming environment, (kudos, Miss Romeo!) so as to ensure work will get underway as soon as possible.
Speaking of new beginnings, my heart goes out to those in Houston, Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey, who all must begin anew. I viewed footage of the pouring rain, relentless winds and raging floodwaters. The reporters made known the fact that rivers of water now occupied the paths which were previously roads, driveways and alleys.
The rescue efforts were remarkable with rescue teams going out on a limb to bring people as well as animals to safety using boats and helicopters. I looked at these rescuers wading in sometimes waist- and chest-high swirling, dirty water to bring others to dry ground; it was a united effort showing care and concern for the safety and well-being of human life.
There were also good Samaritans who owned boats and decided to do their part to assist in the rescue effort. Sadly, in one such situation, the boat overturned and up to my last viewing, the occupants had not been found.
As the floodwaters receded, people slowly returned to their homes. The devastation they encountered brought many to tears as they viewed the scenes before them. Many houses were condemned, some require extensive repairs, and precious family treasures and mementos were lost. They too are facing new beginnings. It will not be easy.
I found myself uniting my prayer with all those who are lifting up this situation, seeking divine intervention for resilience, strengthening of faith and the fortitude to embrace the new beginning, trusting Almighty God to see them through.
My faith was also challenged as I viewed the news reports of my fellow villager, Phillip ‘Ladders’ Doldron, 62, and a former student Keagan Subero, 22, who were both murdered in separate incidents. Keagan lost his mother, a teacher attached to St Gabriel’s Girls’ RC at the time of her passing, eight months ago. For the families, the Doldrons, the Augustus’, the Leoteauds and the Suberos it will be a new beginning as they face life now without the physical presence of their loved ones.
I again unite my prayers with all who at this time are lifting up these families, praying that the Holy Spirit, Comforter, Consoler and Advocate, would enfold them, allowing His peace to permeate their hearts and their situations.
“Weeping endures for the night, joy cometh with the morning….”